Former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE pushed back on a report that he asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to look into “Saturday Night Live” while in office, calling it “total fake news.”
The Daily Beast, citing two sources, reported on Tuesday that Trump inquired while in office about how the DOJ, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and courts could look into the late-night comedy show and others.
He was reportedly told that no legal action could be taken but that someone would “look into it,” even though they never did, The Daily Beast reported. The outlet noted that Trump had tweeted in early 2019 questioning whether federal agencies should "look into" comedy shows.
"The story that I asked the Department of Justice to go after ratings-challenged (without Trump!) Saturday Night Live, and other late-night Losers, is total Fake News," Trump said in a statement released Tuesday evening by his leadership PAC.
“It was fabricated, there were no sources, and yet the Lamestream Media goes with it,” he continued. “I did say, however, that Alec Baldwin has no talent, certainly when it comes to imitating me. The one who had what it took was Darrell Hammond.”
Noah Shachtman, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, told The Hill in a statement, "LOL. You'll be shocked to learn that the former president has mischaracterized our reporting. Crushing, I know. Anyway, we stand by our story."
Trump often lashed out at "SNL" for its skits about him. In his tweet in March 2019, the then-president even suggested that the FCC or Federal Elections Commission should look into the sketch show for knocking him “without so much of a mention of ‘the other side.’”
The former president continued to blast late-night comedy shows in his statement Tuesday, saying they should be “illegal campaign contributions” to the Democrats. He also reasserted without evidence that his loss in the 2020 presidential election was a result of fraud.
“With all of that being said, however, I do believe that the 100% one-sided shows should be considered an illegal campaign contribution from the Democrat Party, hard to believe I got 75 million votes (the most of any sitting President) despite all of that, together with a very Fraudulent Election. 2024 or before!” Trump added.